Monday, June 8, 2015

Summer of 1977


A look back at some of the popular eateries in Charlotte during the summer of 1977 - how many do you remember? Click on each ad for an enlarged view.















Friday, June 5, 2015

Happy Doughnut Day!


In honor of Doughnut Day, here are two great shots of Krispy Kreme's from Charlotte's past.



South Blvd - March 1963


Independence & Hawthorne

Courtesy of the UNC-C archives



Friday, April 24, 2015

The Pantry House



Not much information about this place but the vhf graphic is great! Much thanks to David over at Groceteria for finding this gem!


Friday, April 17, 2015

Greystone at Thanksgiving



Great Thanksgiving mid-70's shot from the Greystone Restaurant on South Blvd. 

Click here for the original Greystone post.

Thanks to Tommy for the pic!


Sunday, March 8, 2015

Lantana Restaurant



Super postcard shot of Latana's which was part of the Bradley Motel. Located at Little Rock Rd and the I-85S Service Road, Latana's enjoyed some popularity boost in the mid-90's when the Observer deemed it the best burger in town.




Jerry's Drive-In



1962 ad for Jerry's Drive-In. Eventually Athen's would occupy this site. The land is currently vacant pending expansion from CPCC.

Click here for an earlier post on Charlotte drive-ins and here for the Athen's post which showcases a picture of Jerry's.




Saturday, February 28, 2015

The Shaft



UNCC alumni will recognize this picture of The Shaft which was located on Old Concord Rd just minutes from campus. Check out that phone number! This pic is from 1989.

Photo courtesy the Clt Obs archives





Fat Tuesday's



Fat Tuesday's was an early forerunner in the revitalization of downtown Charlotte. Opened in the late '80's, it was located at the City Fair shopping complex. Famous for their colorful wall of frozen drinks, Fat Tuesday's was initially a huge hit. Both City Fair and Fat Tuesday's would both close in the early '90's, victims of being too early in the downtown resurgence.

Photo is from 1989 - courtesy the Clt Obs archives.

***As always -- click on the photo for a larger view***



S & W's Silver Grill





Amazing shot of the Silver Grill at Charlottetown Mall. The Silver Grill was operated by the S & W Cafeteria which was directly upstairs. 

Click here for the original S & W Cafeteria post.

Photos courtesy The Clt Obs archives

***Click on pics for a larger view***




Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Kuester's Dining Room



Nice ad from 1955 for Kuester's Dining Room.

Please let us know if you have any information or memories of this eatery.



Sunday, January 18, 2015

Stamey's - 1974



Wonderful interior shot of Stamey's from 1974.

Click here for the original Stamey's post.

Picture courtesy of the Clt Observer


Venus Diner




Amazing picture of the Venus Restaurant (commonly called the Venus Diner) sign on East Blvd from 1974.

Picture courtesy of the Clt Observer




Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Pedro's Pt III






Some amazing color shots of Pedro's as well as the front of a menu. Enjoy!

Please click here for the original Pedro's post and here for an update.

As always - click on each picture for a larger view.




Sunday, November 16, 2014

The Tom Cat Lounge



1966 ad for The Tom Cat Lounge that was at 1831 South Blvd in Dilworth. The address is currently occupied by a Dunkin' Donuts (though the original building was torn down years ago).


Heart of Charlotte Motor Inn


My aunt and uncle stayed at the Heart of Charlotte Motor Inn on August 3rd, 1963 on their wedding night. See below for the awesome breakfast menu as well as the stationary they saved.



Menu cover


Breakfast menu


Stationary envelope


Stationary letterhead


***Click on pictures for an enlarged view***


Saturday, November 1, 2014

Babe Maloy's Drive In



Amazing ad for the legendary Babe Maloy's Drive In from 1962. Famous for their "Chicken n the Rough" fried chicken. Babe's was located on Independence Blvd across from the Coliseum. 


Eli's on East **HALL OF FAME EATERY**



Summer 1985


Bob and Karen Smoots - 1984


1986


1985 ad for the side catering business

Eli's on East opened at 311 East Blvd in August of 1981 by owners Bob and Karen Smoots. Bob Smoots had worked through the late '60's and early '70's as director of food service for the Stuckey's Restaurant chain and spent the latter part of the '70's as a partner of Saucy Crepe restaurants (which had two popular locations in Charlotte) before he and his wife opened Eli's. 

Located in a two-story house built in 1910, the restaurant had kept the original fireplaces, moldings, and beveled glass on the front mirror and flooring. The restaurant had three separate and intimate dining rooms, an attractive Casablanca-type bar, and a glassed-in-lattice-work porch with hanging ferns. Eli's Southern gourmet menu was famous for their Sunday brunches (an oddity in Charlotte during the '80's), steak au poivre, Cobb salads, and especially their homemade peanut butter pie.

The Smoots would own Eli's until May 1986 when they sold to Stuart Smith (who also owned Barley & Rye at the time). Eli's would eventually close in 1990. 

The classic turn-of-the-century house has been to home to several restaurants since then - Rumpleman's (1991-94), Castaldi's (opened March 1994), Zanzibar Hardwood Grille (opened Aug 28, 2000), Vittorio's (opened Fall 2001),  Giovanni's (opened 2003) and currently, Copper (opened June 2005).

On a side note, the house has been reported as being haunted by several spirits. Novelist Carson McCullers lived there in the late-30's and it was a boarding house for decades. WBTV ran a special on the hauntings at the house in the late-90's. Though no spirits were seen or heard on the special, restaurant workers have reported odd happenings and noises at the house for decades.





Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Airport 77 Restaurant





From the early-'50's come these wonderful full page ads for the Airport 77 restaurant. Part drive-in, part sit-down service. Popular with the Central High crowd as well - based on the ads. 

Click on the ads for a larger view


Thursday, October 9, 2014

Drawbridge Restaurant

Two great shots of the Drawbridge Restaurant that resided at the foot of Montford Dr. A more detailed post to follow --- enjoy the pics of this legendary eatery for now! As always, click on the picture for a larger view...



1972 interior shot


1976 exterior shot (courtesy of The Charlotte Observer)




Tuesday, September 23, 2014

The Hungry Fisherman - Pt II



Full page ad from 1976! Click here for the original post.


Sunday, September 21, 2014

Gus's Original Forty-Niner



Great color shots from 1969 right after Gus's opened near UNCC. Owned by the same folks that operated The Open Kitchen

Click on the photo for a larger view...




Thursday, September 18, 2014

Anderson's Restaurant Pt II



Parking lot token for Anderson's Restaurant on Elizabeth Avenue. Thinking this was for the small pay-to-park lot that was next door.

Click here for the original Anderson's post.


Open Kitchen matchbook



Nice matchbook for the Open Kitchen restaurant. Click here for the original Open Kitchen post.


Memories of past restaurants....


In 1999, the Observer asked readers which closed restaurants did they miss the most --- the list is a great look back in the past...which ones do you recall?

* Chez Daniel: Charlotte's best restaurant was in a bitty house in the back of a shopping center parking lot off East Boulevard. Intimate. Elegant. Never, ever noisy. The balding man with the glass of red wine was always at the round table in the corner. At lunch, the wait staff was Danielle Quillec, who owned the place with her husband, Daniel. They excelled at classic, sophisticated French food. Everything was wonderful. Meat. Fish. Poultry. And the leek and basil soup? Always sopped up the bowl with the crusty country bread. It lasted 12 years.
- Michael Weinstein
* I miss D'Arcy's, where they made the Caesar salad at your table (complete with a raw egg, which would undoubtedly turn the Health Department blue these days), and it was the best I have ever eaten.
Doug Robarchek
* The Red Carpet on East Morehead. Back around 1970, when Charlotte was still more like a big Spartanburg than a little Atlanta, the Red Carpet was one of a handful of places (the Epicurean on East Boulevard was another) that you'd go to celebrate a birthday or a wedding anniversary. It was a formal old white-tablecloth place that served mostly classic dishes (mango chutney being unknown in those days). One of their specialties was Chateaubriand.
- Henry Eichel
* Even though it has been close to 10 years since Kenilworth Cafe served its last beer, regulars still bemoan the demise of the cozy corner bar at the intersection of Kenilworth and East Boulevard. It was where my fellow Queens College students and I would meet for beer and burgers. It was such a home-away-from-the-dorm for me that I even wrote a term paper in the comfort of one of its great wooden booths. I still have a pen-and-ink sketch of the cafe created by a local artist to ease the pain of distraught regulars.
- Olivia Fortson
* Cafe Flavors and LA Pizza Kitchen: I count these as one establishment because they were the brainchildren of one man, John Berres. Cafe Flavors was always a culinary adventure. It wasn't for the faint of palate. Berres and crew would come up with the best blends of spices. I followed it from the motel on Independence to the spot behind Park Road Shopping Center. LA Pizza Kitchen was an offshoot, and a delightful one at that. Scrumptious toppings, a great beer selection and they delivered the pies and the suds. Both were way ahead of their time.
- Crystal Dempsey
* As the name suggested, They Laughed at Edison had the moxie an all-vegetarian restaurant needed in the '70s: an aging-hippies-whose-philosophic-time-has-come attitude.
Unfortunately, it hadn't, and my favorite joint closed in the early '80s. The buffet line held more than the usual veggie-burger fare: soups, breads, casseroles and more complicated entrees nobody else in town dared to serve. It was terrific for lower-income eaters (such as reporters); to find something comparable 20 years later, you have to go to The Laughing Seed in Asheville.
- Lawrence Toppman
* I remember well the D'n'P Coffee Shop in the 500 block of South Tryon. I had my first taste of collards there back in the late '80s, when I interviewed for my job at The Observer. I got hired, and spent many lunch hours there before it was torn down. There was something about the place that reminded me of an old hat or jacket - a little threadbare and worn, but comforting and comfortable.
The late morning light streaming through the dusty window silhouetting diners and waitresses in the cigarette smoke is an image of Charlotte that I'll always recall.
- Gary O'Brien
* I mourn the old Catherine's, the one that started in the former Mayberry Ice Cream that's now Boston Market. Good food, well-prepared, great atmosphere (not too fancy, not too slack).
Mary Newsom
* Eli's - before Southern gourmet was Southern gourmet, before Dilworth was Dilworth; Sunday brunch vodka-tomato and champagne-peach soups before the anointed one o'clock hour, leisurely business dinner meetings before such was an oxymoron. Eli's - before hospitality, manners and grace were replaced by hot, trendy and fast-paced.
- April Hart
* Gus Purcell's Fish Camp on East Independence Boulevard was a neat place. It was big and roomy and had excellent service. When I moved here in 1978, everyone told me it was the place to go.
A special memory: It was the first place we ever went for dinner with our first child. Beth was 6 weeks old at the time. She cried constantly. At Gus Purcell's, you wouldn't even hear her crying.
- Steve Lyttle
* Tanner's, on South Tryon near The Square, embodied Everything Good About Greasy Spoons. You could fuel up for the whole day on a buck and a half. Sure, you stood up at narrow little counters to eat, but they squeezed their own unforgettable orangeade, and the burgers and hot dogs were the staff of life to a young teen working downtown. The kicker: a free little pack of roasted redskin peanuts with every meal.
- Woody Mitchell
* I loved Proposition XLV, but right before it was Proposition XLV, it was called The Cottage, and all the folks in the neighborhood would walk up there and have their sandwiches. They had the best shrimp salad on pumpernickel.
- Ellen Archer
* My favorite now-gone place to eat lunch or dinner was Grady's on Albemarle Road, because of their chocolate bar/syrup cake, served warm with ice cream - my word! It was truly scrumptious.
- Anita White
* I happily remember the great food and more important the great times and great people at Papa Gallo's on Monroe Road. To this day I judge a restaurant by Papa Gallo's in the way of food, service, atmosphere, etc.
- Jim McNerney
* One of my favorites for many, many years was Slug's, which just had roast beef. It was on Independence, and it was an outstanding restaurant. That's all it did, was have standing roast beef and a salad - and it was just wonderful.
- Norman Palin
* I remember well the Slug's Restaurant at SouthPark. We moved to Rock Hill in 1975 and our children were 11 and 7. We enjoyed shopping and relaxing afterward in the comfort of Slug's dining room. Cloth napkins, cloth tablecloths, good prime rib and Slug himself "waltzing" from table to table asking how things were. We miss it - and him.
- Betty Robinson
* Of all the restaurants long gone, I remember The Luau on Montford Drive. A pool greeted us and as we were led to our table we passed a miniature waterfall, beautiful plantings, and different levels where beauty was tucked into each corner. The food was excellent, the pupu platter spectacular.
- Sue Clark
* Stonehenge - yes, like the stones in England, on Morehead - was just a very stylish restaurant; you just felt like you were in some fancy city and we weren't really quite a fancy city yet then. It was just a great place to have lunch, or a secret rendezvous. Another one was called The Luau. I had a bridesmaid luncheon given to me there in 1965. That was wonderful food at the time, such things as chicken salad in a half of a pineapple: Can you imagine?!
- Mary Lynne Huggins
* When I was a kid (in the '60s), my family and I went to a restaurant on Montford called The Luau. It was Polynesian/Asian, and was decorated like a South Pacific set - papa-san chairs, bamboo, a little pool, etc. I'm sure today it would be considered "kitschy" but I loved it. I miss it and I want it back!
- Susan Fox
* I remember it well! The elegant Barringer Hotel dining room with those wonderful white-gloved waiters, the S&W Cafeteria on West Trade Street with its crystal chandeliers, and Chez Montet, near the railroad station, where a group of us young (then) gourmands tried all the French goodies available. Then there was Jimmy's Oriental restaurant, where they served white bread, and lemon with the tea. Oy vey! What memories!
- Fay Green
* I remember a wonderful restaurant that was located in the first block of West Trade Street. This goes back to the mid-'40s (I was around 7 or 8 years old): The Ship Ahoy. Friday night, Dad, Mom and me: our "date" night. There was an alley that ran alongside the building; the car would turn in (my heart would be pounding), park, (and we would) go into the back entrance in the old Liberty Life Building. You walked down a short hallway, then there you were: on a ship! There were heavy wood tables and chairs on the floor. Two "galleys" ran the length on each side with leather-covered booths lining the walls. Oh, my! Those walls! They were covered with huge canvas paintings of the sea with ships asail. I don't mean framed paintings, I mean canvas-covered walls! And they were swaying to look like real motion. The dark blues of the sky and sea coupled with the heavy dark wood of the rails, chairs and tables was simply amazing! I know my folks loved it too. My dad, being in the restaurant business, was rather picky about where we ate. The place had the most wonderful smell, along with a steak that would knock your socks off. I have eaten in hundreds of restaurants since then; however, none has left the enduring pleasant memory that Ship Ahoy brings to mind.
- Mary Ann Thomas-Wylie



Sunday, September 14, 2014

Farrell's - Pt II



Awesome birthday photo of my cousin, her friend, and my Uncle at Farrell's at Eastland Mall from the late-70's. Check out that sundae! No wonder Farrell's was so popular back then.

Click here for more Farrell's pics.

Thanks to my cousin Lori for use of this photo.


Southpark Mall - 1988



Nice ad showing the merchants at Southpark Mall in 1988. Lots of eating options from the then new food court eateries to sit down options such as Charleys and Morrison's Cafeteria.


Friday, September 12, 2014

Palatable Pleasures









Palatable Pleasures began life as a catering operation at Southpark's Speciality Shops on the Park in 1981. In the Spring of 1994, owner Ann Breese moved the operation and opened a 50-seat sit-down restaurant at the, then, under renovation Atherton Mill on South Blvd. An innovative menu that initially specialized in breakfast and lunch only and then quickly evolved into a popular dinner location as well. In January 1995, they went back to lunch only with event party hosting in the evening. 

Palatable Pleasures would close in 1997. It's run in Southend was short, but it was an early trailblazer in the part of south Charlotte that was at the time undergoing a complete revitalization.